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Get Ready for the Holiday Season

A few valuable health tips to stay fit and not to gain weight during Christmas time



We are approaching the Holiday season, the 1st advent is just around the corner. The month of December means more valuable family time, meeting friends and also more going out, aperos, dinners and coffee meetings.

It is cold outside, so we all like to be cosy at home and have some nice cakes, sweets, hot wine, eggnog and other sweet drinks. Let’s be honest, most of us eat more than our body needs. So what shall we do?

Below you will find some valuable tips on how to stay fit and avoid gaining weight during this season.


1) Eat nutrient-dense foods only! For example, when you eat a good breakfast, your body will be happy and satisfied for many hours so you will not want to have any snacks, even when those are offered. When you have enough nutritious food you will have ZERO cravings for all those unhealthy high-sugar cakes, cookies and chocolates. I recommend a breakfast high in fat and protein. This is a huge help to avoid snacking later during the day (1) Your body needs nutrients to stay healthy and satisfied. When you lack some basic components, like amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins or minerals, you can be sure that you will have cravings. Your body will crave food as long as it gets all that it needs. If you only eat high-carb, unhealthy-fat-junk food, your body will never be happy because these foods lack essential nutrients.


2) Don’t forget to move. Invest time in activity, it is definitely worth it! Go out for a walk even when the weather is not nice! If you don’t have a dog, borrow one from your neighbour or at least imagine that you have one. Take the stairs, don’t be lazy! Go to the gym as normally, preferably twice a week. Don’t skip your regular exercise just because it’s Christmas time.


3) The general advice is not to over-consume alcohol. While it is certain that too much alcohol is not good for you, a light to moderate alcohol consumption (about one drink a day) has not been linked to weight gain. Having a glass of a good quality dry wine with your dinner is not a problem. Remember to always drink water - instead of sugary drinks - when you are thirsty! (2) (3)


4) If you happen to overeat at one meal, just skip the next one! We don’t need to have three main meals with two-three snacks a day. If you had a big lunch, stop it there. Don’t eat anything until the next morning. Implement fasting of different durations, for example not eating for 16 to 24 hours gives your digestive system a rest and helps to balance your blood sugar and insulin level. As a basic rule, eat only when you are really hungry!


5) Make sure you sleep enough. A regular good quality sleep is very important. Sleep deprivation can cause overeating (4) (5)


6) We all have our special traditional Christmas foods and habits. But are there any of those traditions you can just skip? Can you make those foods healthier? Do you need to eat all those cookies? If you want them, you can always change the recipe and make them healthier and even more delicious. I substitute wheat flour by much tastier ingredients like different nuts, chestnut, tiger nut, coconut, so the cakes or cookies are amazing! Find some recipes here on my website.


I wish you all a wonderful Advent season and a healthy Christmas time!


References:

1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23446906 2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2837522/ 3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338356/ 4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763921/

5) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079207000202